‘Sustainable’ is one of the biggest buzz words in our industry at the moment. Many producers and distilleries are looking at ways to make themselves and their supply chains have a more positive impact on the environment.
The government picked up on this trend too by issuing £10m in funds to help 17 distilleries reduce their carbon emissions. This shows that in the UK market there’s increasing competition for environmental accreditation and that sustainability is surely more than a trend.
So, it’s great to see Greensand Ridge Distillery gaining recognition for their hard work in this area and winning the Gin Magazine’s ‘Icons of Gin 2021’ award for the World’s Best Sustainable Distillery…and this gong isn’t their first! They also picked up a Spirits Business award in 2019 with the Distillery Sustainability Award.
What makes Greensand Ridge Distillery such a trailblazer for sustainability?
Greensand Ridge is a distillery that has put environmentalism as front and centre of their ethos. Will Edge, the founder, started the project in 2015 with the mission to reduce food waste at the farm gate. The idea was to ferment and distill quality surplus ingredients that supermarkets won’t take and use these along with local botanicals such as cobnuts, gorse and bay to make a range of unique spirits.
The distillery is powered by 100% renewable electricity and with a zero target for chemical use, plastics and non-recyclable waste. Their wastage equals one black bin bag every 6 to 8 weeks!
In 2019 they published their Sustainability Report which explains in detail how they approached their aim of ‘ultra-low’ impact on the environment. In 2020 they even built a pond which enabled them to have a closed-loop cooling system, reducing water, power, and salt usage as well as hosting a natural habitat for wildlife.
This makes Greensand Ridge Distillery a truly sustainable business, and others are following its example. But there’s a long way to go before their standards are the norm. In fact, of the over 440 distilleries spread around the country, only eleven across Scotland and six in England will receive the UK government funds to harness energy sources such as low-carbon hydrogen, biomass and repurposed waste to power their operations.
Our industry has got to turn buzz words like sustainability into action.